San Diego Air & Space Museum Selects 'Class of 2009' Aviation and Space Legends for Induction into the Museum’s International Aerospace Hall of Fame

On November 21, the San Diego Air & Space Museum is honoring national and international air & space legends at its 46th Hall of Fame Induction and Gala.


Sally Ride is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut who, in 1983, became the first American woman and youngest American (at the time) to enter space. Ride was one of 8,900 people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program. As a result, Ride joined NASA in 1978. During her career, Sally served as the ground-based Capsule Communicator for the second and third Space Shuttle flights. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7. Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She has cumulatively spent more than 343 hours in space. In 1987, Ride left to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the California Space Institute. In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She is currently on leave from the university, and is the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded in 2001, that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls.

Sean Tucker is a native of Eagle Rock, California, earned his pilot's certificate at age 17. He has been flying airshows worldwide since the mid-1970s and is considered one of the world's premier airshow performers. Despite once having a fear of flying, Tucker has flown more than 1,000 performances at more than 425 airshows, in front of more than 80 million spectators. More than half of Tucker's maneuvers are original and have never been duplicated by another aerobatic pilot. He currently flies with Team Oracle and pilots the Challenger II biplane. Tucker has also created the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety, a world-class flight training institution dedicated to setting and spreading the standard for aviation safety in aerobatics and aviation at large.

Clay Lacy is the founder of Clay Lacy Aviation, one of the largest corporate jet providers in the country. Clay Lacy Aviation's roots begin in the early 1960's when Clay Lacy and Bill Lear offered the first Learjet available in the Western United States. The Lacy Lear gained instant acceptance and notoriety with the high profile entertainment industry. In 1968 Clay Lacy Aviation incorporated the name and concept of Clay Lacy Aviation. Clay Lacy Aviation operates the largest, diversified, fleet of charter aircraft in the West. Today, Clay Lacy Aviation flies more charter flights than any other West Coast carrier. Clay Lacy was born in 1932 and grew up in Wichita, Kansas, the birthplace of aviation manufacturing. Interested in model airplanes at age 5, Clay built his first flying model in 1940 when he was only 8 years old, and had his first flight at age 12.

Lockheed Brothers & Skunk Works Brothers Allan and Malcolm (who originally spelled their name Loughead) created a series of aviation companies that eventually led to the present day Lockheed Martin Aircraft Company starting in 1912. Incantations of the company would produce some of the most famous aircraft ever to take to the skies, including the Vega, P-38 and Constellation. Skunk Works was the Advanced Development Division of Lockheed which made some of the most technologically advanced aircraft of their or any generation. Included in the Skunk Work's roll call is the P-80 Shooting Star (the first American Jet to record a kill), the U-2 (which can fly at 70,000 feet), the SR-71 Blackbird (which is still the current record holder for a manned airbreathing jet aircraft) and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. In 1995 Lockheed merged with Martin Marietta in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin, which is the world's largest defense contractor by revenue.

The Blue Angels are the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron who performed their first flight demonstration in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat. Over the past several decades the Blues have flown several types of aircraft, including the Grumman F11F-1 Tiger and the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom IIand the A-4F Skyhawk II. On November 8, 1986, the Blue Angels completed their 40th anniversary year during ceremonies unveiling their present aircraft, the new sleek F/A-18 Hornet, the first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving on the nation's front lines of defense. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 427 million fans and are certainly one of the world’s most respected and watched flight team.

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